A Balancing Act by Horse and Dragon Brewing
Horse and Dragon brewing company is all about balance – from tart and sour IPAs to sweeter stouts, experimenting with diverse ingredients in the brewing process, and creating a community established on passion and love for craft beer. Founded by Tim and Carol Cochran and now run by friends and family, Horse and Dragon is a haven for craft beer and community in Fort Collins. Tim and Carol found their passion for craft beer early in their relationship and set to work planning their brewery in January 2013, coincidentally at the end of the Chinese year of the Horse. They then opened to the public in May 2014, the Chinese year of the Dragon. From hearing stories behind their quirky brew names, tasting unique flavor combinations in four different beers which was paired with food from Bar Dough, the Crafty Ladies experienced the balance Horse and Dragon strives to create through brews.
Up first was a double header – Sage Adwiesse Berliner Wiesse and Maracuya Passion Fruit IPA alongside Bar Dough’s tricolore salad. Sage Adwiesse was on the more tart and sour side while Maracuya was fruity on the nose and tart on the finish. Both beers complemented the salad well, adding a crisp, cleansing element to the light, slightly spicy and sweet assortment of veggies and fruit. Luke Margheim, known around the brewery as the Purveyor of All Things Awesome, noted that while pairing two beers to one food item is slightly unusual, their idea was to emphasize the complexity that beer can bring to the table in a pairing situation. “In addition to that, the chemistry of the two beers, one a kettle sour and one a fruity IPA, will also change how a person’s palate accepts the flavors of the dish” Margheim explained. “Having them side by side, the flavor combinations increase exponentially.”
For the second course, Whistle Blast Brown was paired with a meatball, comprised of chuck, pancetta, and pork belly. During the dinner, Crafty Ladies founder Katie O’Shea pointed out that this pairing was a classic combination of “salty and malty” – salty really drawn out by the pancetta most prominently and the maltiness in this particular brown ale. To finish things off on a sweeter note, Sad Panda coffee stout was pulled from the draft lines at HTB to be enjoyed with budino tiramisu. The espresso soaked lady fingers topped with a brown butter whipped mascarpone found flavor companionship with the sweeter, malty notes of Sad Panda. Sad Panda, a Highland Tap and Burger staff favorite, has been described as almost drinking an alcoholic iced coffee.
Margheim believes his favorite brew of those sampled at the dinner truly depends on the time and place. “There are hot, summer afternoons in the backyard when an ice cold Sad Panda will hit the spot,” Margheim said. “Likewise cool, spring evenings in the Poudre Canyon when a Sage Adwiesse Berliner Weisse is perfect after a long day of fishing. The limited availablity of Maracuya Passion Fruit IPA certainly has me reaching for it more often when it's in draft, but the same goes for Whistle Blast Honey Brown when I'm at lunch at my favorite burger joint. In the end, no matter the situation, it's all about balance.”
Come join the Crafty Ladies on Tuesday, July 26 for an evening spent with Ninkasi. To purchase tickets to the event and for more information, visit craftyladiesbeerclub.com.